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Sylvia M. Stachura: Don’t forget holidays are supposed to be fun

Being a parent is a serious prospect to most of us. It is inherent with many problems that one never envisions when planning for a family. One simply thinks about the love and joy of having a tiny baby. Of course, not every aspect of a child’s existence is quite that serious.

Our two children had their mischievous times, too, and they made every effort to conjure up a laugh or two from us, especially from my husband, who tends to be rather serious.

I remember going into the linen closet one day to put away some towels. My children conspired together and decided to close the door behind me, and both of them held it shut. I tried to push the door open but somehow was not able to. I didn’t even have the benefit of a light.

I tried to sound very stern, but couldn’t help laughing at this surprising situation. I hollered out that I would tell their father when he got home, but hoped I wouldn’t be in the closet that long. On that note, they let me out.

They quickly told their Dad about the incident themselves but were clever enough to say that, “Mommy was laughing, too.” He thought it was funny as well.

One Halloween, we had a scarecrow that wore a black cloak and had a Styrofoam head with a gruesome face that I had painted. After the holiday we brought it into the house. This time, our children decided they would scare their father.

They put the scarecrow into the front hall closet and waited for my husband to get home from work. When he came home, as usual, he took off his coat and went to the closet to hang it up. When he opened the closet door, the scarecrow began to fall forward. Because it was so unexpected, he gave it a right cross to the head, thinking it was an intruder or an apparition. The kids rolled around the floor laughing, and we all still laugh about it to this day.

My husband would always fall asleep on the couch or recliner while watching TV. Our children decided to play a joke on him one day and see if he would wake up before they completed their dastardly deeds. They took off his shoes and socks and painted his toenails and fingernails, and then put makeup on his face.

He was not shaken or stirred, but when he finally woke up, he noticed the bright color on his toes and fingers. He looked in the mirror, and we heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight, “This better wash off tonight!” Needless to say, he was not pleased.

Although our children are now grown, they still have that impish glow about them, especially on holidays. Every Christmas, we are invited to our daughter’s home. After dinner, my husband likes to stroll into the family room and claim his place in the recliner and take a nap while the rest of us are having fun playing games at the kitchen table.

However, many times those games become a little more imaginative. Somehow, everyone seems to get a radar signal and they descend upon this sleeping, helpless victim. They dress him up with a funny hat and slippers and put a big, old stuffed toy in his lap. Every year there are variations to this theme.

When my husband awakens, he does find it rather funny and we do get a smile out of him. After all, holidays are supposed to be fun!